The latest statistics from the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers show that 73 percent of the buyers and a whopping 82 percent of the sellers only interview one agent.
In other words, the first agent who meets the lead face to face almost always converts the lead into a listing or sale. So, with that in mind, how do you make sure that you’re that agent? How do you differentiate yourself?
Tiffany McQuaid, president of McQuaid and Company, is one of the most creative marketers in the real estate industry — she literally has binders and binders full of marketing ideas.
So, if you’re ready to create a marketing program that will help you stand out from the competition and keep you top-of-mind, McQuaid shares some of her tips — and a few winning strategies that’ll help you land the deal.
1. Create a presence that’s present when you’re not present
The pandemic limited our ability to be in direct face-to-face communication. Blog posts, mailers, social media posts and videos are all ways to “be present when you’re not present.”
While these tools are used primarily to conduct marketing with the goal of doing a transaction, McQuaid urges her agents to use these tools to also build connection.
According to McQuaid, to be top-of-mind, you must go beyond showing you are competent to handle their transaction. You must also make them feel good and show you genuinely care about them. As Zig Ziglar once said, “People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”
2. Position yourself in the marketplace
Positioning yourself in the marketplace is not about telling potential clients about how much revenue you produce or how many transactions you do. Your leads don’t care. McQuaid advised to forget about the volume.
It’s not about the volume — it’s about value. How are you going to add value to their ability to sell or purchase?
This means finding out what matters to them. Before meeting with them personally, visit their social media sites. Study their posts, and look for what you have in common. These commonalities are the basis for establishing your initial connection. This, in turn, creates the foundation for building long-term relationships.
3. Identify the best avenue to connect in your marketplace
During the pandemic, McQuaid used local television advertising to put her agents front and center by advertising their open houses. McQuaid explained: You may be watching TV and see a commercial for Lowe’s or McDonalds. Then, one of their videos pops up. The agent on the video welcomes them to McQuaid and Company and then says, “Please come in and enjoy our open house.”
Once we were out of the lockdowns, they had their agents share their key “connection points.” These points differentiate the agent from the competition while also showing the consumer why they should work with them.
4. ‘Embed in the head’
When it comes to relationship marketing, McQuaid recommends focusing on “sensical ways” that incorporate all five senses and keeps you top of mind. These “sensical ways” allow you to “embed in head.”
McQuaid shared how a recent Lady Gaga concert achieved this goal by using multisensory marketing. During the concert Gaga promoted:
- Her new movie (visual).
- Her upcoming television special featuring Tony Bennett in his last concert (sound).
- Her new perfume line (smell).
- How she teamed up with Dom Perignon to create a new champagne (taste).
- How her grandmother told her to wave a $100 bill at the full moon to bring prosperity and abundance in your life. This was followed by the audience being showered in $100 Gaga dollars (kinesthetic/feeling).
In terms of how this applies to marketing your business, McQuaid recommends to put yourself out there in a variety of different avenues that can crossover as well as marketing that touches all five senses.
This creates top-of-mind awareness and recognition that consumers will not forget. To illustrate this point, here’s how to use a multisensory approach to market your listings.
- Visually market the property with pictures and videos.
- Include music or fountains in the background during showings (sound).
- Serve fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies (taste and smell).
- On cold winter days, make sure there’s a fire in the fireplace (kinesthetic/feeling).
5. Connection leads to lead conversion
McQuaid uses the term “shiny pennies” to describe your unique characteristics that differentiate you from other agents. Your “shiny pennies” are the basis for making the initial connection with potential clients.
Posts showing you volunteering at a local animal shelter, raising money for your favorite charitable cause,= or supporting the high school band make people feel like they already know you, even though you haven’t met you in person.
McQuaid explains how this gives you the advantage over other agents who compete by saying they’re No. 1 or they sold the most volume.
According to McQuaid, when you have conveyed value enough that they remember you from seeing you on TV, on a social media platform, in their mailbox or out supporting your local community, they already feel like they know you when you walk through their door.
You have a personal connection as opposed to the person who says, “Hey, I’ve done $100 million in volume this year, you should hire me.”
People need that human connection, McQuaid said. They want to know that you genuinely care about them, not just your pocketbook or volume. They want to work with someone who cares about the challenges they are facing whether it’s an illness, divorce, death or some other massive issue. You’re representing them on the sale or purchase probably of their largest asset, she said. Your empathy and caring will lead the way to your future success.
Finally, McQuaid repeatedly emphasized the importance of using humor whenever possible. Laughter is one of the best ways to build rapport and create the types of relationships that result in you being the agent who ultimately gets the deal.
Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.